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Tue 1st Dec 2020 - Exclusive: Greybull Capital leads race for Deltic
Exclusive – Greybull Capital leads the race for Deltic: Private equity group Greybull Capital is leading the race to acquire The Deltic Group, the UK’s biggest nightclub operator, Propel has learned. Propel understands Greybull has secured preferred bidder status for the Peter Marks-led, 52-strong group. Greybull, which has backed companies such as Monarch Airlines and British Steel, is believed to have beaten competition from, among others, Shoreditch Bar Group and Rekom Group, Scandinavia’s largest nightlife group, to move ahead in the race for Deltic. It is thought that, if successful in its bid, Greybull will back the existing management team and take on the majority of the group’s existing estate. It is thought the company may still need to go through a restructuring process as part of any deal. Rekom’s interest in Deltic, whose brands include Atik, Bar & Beyond, Eden and Vinyl, was thought to be part of its international growth strategy to become the largest nightlife group in Europe. Propel revealed in October, Shoreditch Bar Group, which last year acquired the remainder of London bar and restaurant operator Novus’ late-night business, was working with Steve Thomas, the founder of Luminar, the at-one-time circa 300-strong chain, from which Deltic was born, on a possible bid. It is thought the process for Deltic, which was led by BDO, generated significant interest from trade buyers and private equity. Deltic has had the majority of its business closed since March due to the outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent government restrictions. Marks said in November, the business needed a “firm offer” either to buy it outright or invest alongside existing shareholders by this month because it would run out of cash in mid-December. Marks said the company was burning through £700,000 a month to cover fixed costs while its clubs are shut. It has also accrued an outstanding rent bill of £8m. Deltic was founded in 2011 after Marks and a group of investors bought the Luminar nightclub group after it went into liquidation. It is thought the group’s investors have taken a £22m hit from the impact of the crisis on the business. Deltic was worth £80m before the pandemic hit, according to Marks.

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